The Internet Is My Religion

Jim Gilliam. NationBuilder, $10.99 trade paper (208p) ISBN 978-0-9961104-0-2
In this de-conversion memoir, Gilliam lays out his drift away from evangelical Christianity and his experiences growing up on the cusp of the Internet revolution. His mother's devotion to her faith underpinned her decisions to homeschool her children and join Jerry Falwell's evangelical Baptist congregation. As Gilliam reached his teens, his budding interest in online bulletin boards exposed him to a world beyond his insular upbringing. When both he and his mother were diagnosed with cancer, he lost his own faith and decided to pursue a life oriented around crafting his own rules. He recounts his survival from cancer twice, his successful career as a self-taught Internet expert, and his nearly miraculous lung transplant. Gilliam shies away from anger in discussing evangelism and believers, making this work less antagonistic than most post-Christian memoirs. Though he could have expanded a bit on his conclusion that the Internet has created the same kind of community for him that his mother found in a church, the work offers a lovely way to reconceptualize spirituality as connection. Gilliam shows that technology is not killing religion or making it obsolete, but changing religion into something new that's still positive and powerful. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 08/15/2016
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